Today's edition of Ask a Lore Nerd is a bit heavy on the speculation side, so be warned before you start reading. We've had a lot of questions recently that we don't yet have answers to, but are asked frequently enough that I suppose I should see what I can say!
"Okay, so speaking of life and death, this has bugged me for a while -- how do we explain the fact that some characters (Horde and Alliance legends for example) have died, but yet every Priest, Pally, Shammy and Druid can rez people anytime they want?
I realize it's a game and it wouldn't be so much fun if you died and then had to reroll a level 1, but there needs to be some type of lore explanation as to why people can be rezzed, but also can 'really die.' Are we supposed to just not worry about this or is there an explanation?"
There is a new build out on the Patch 3.1 PTR tonight (Build #9722 for those of you keeping track). MMO-Champion is already data mining the stuff, and fresh from this build comes a rather important change that everyone will need to know about:
All flask recipes will now create 2 flasks for the same amount of ingredients.
This means where you used to make one flask of awesomesauce, you now get two flasks of awesomesauce. That's a lot more awesome for the same amount of sauce.
We can speculate that this change is in part to due to the difficulty ramp-up that will occur in Ulduar. We know that Ulduar is going to be harder, and so this change will help soften the time required to come prepared. And as someone who flasks and eats food religiously, this is a welcomed change.
Of course the downside to this change is that flask prices will drop on the AH, meaning people will earn less money off them. But at the same time, raw materials will likely go up a bit since folks will be wanting to have their flasks made for them now more often. We'll have to wait and see to be sure, however.Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.
Issue 30 of Blizzard's newsletter, the Blizzard Insider, is hitting inboxes this afternoon. These newsletters don't come often, but when they do, there's always some good stuff the comes along with it. On the World of Warcraft front, beyond the screenshots and fan art, we have a few new pages to check out:
With all this patch 3.1PTR news and speculation flying around, it's useful to have a place that simply accumulates hard information on spells, items, talents, quests, and so on. Wowhead's new PTR site is that place. This is the first time to my knowledge that they've done a PTR-specific site; there was a site for the WotLK beta as well, which was very handy.
On the PTR site you can find a page for basically everything as it is in the latest PTR build. I find the talent calculator especially useful. There is also a nicely formatted page listing everything new in patch 3.1, which some people may find helpful in building their Ulduar wish lists. My Ulduar wish list is something like "Please, oh great RNG, give me something without a ton of Armor Penetration on it for my Unholy DK" (actually, I'll probably just give in and respec Blood+MoG).
We've been using the PTR site since it went up to provide tooltips for new and updated spells and items. If you need some 3.1 information, take a look.
Ulduar testing schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday - Mon, 23 Mar 2009 17:30:00 EST There is another Ulduar testing update today. And since there will be testing already schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, that mean Patch 3.1 will not be coming out tomorrow. So don't ask. /smile
For the North American PTR:
Flame Leviathan - Tuesday Night March 24th, starting at 7 p.m. EDT
Hodir (Hard Mode) - Wednesday Night March 25th, starting at 7 p.m. EDT
For the European PTR:
Flame Leviathan - Tuesday Night March 24th, starting at 19:00 CET
General Vezax (Hard Mode) - Wednesday Night March 25th, starting at 19:00 CET
Also, the Shirt of Uber will be available from Ursula McWeaksauce for hard mode testing. Ursula will be making her appearance near the Ulduar entrance. The Shirt of Uber will give you stats that are equivalent to you having obtained Ulduar gear.
We'll have some more information on the Shirt of Uber once we're able to get our unuber hands on it.Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.
The WoW Headhunter helps with guild recruiting - Mon, 23 Mar 2009 17:00:00 EST Last week we were kindly invited on the PixelatedGeek podcast (thanks, Erin and Nelson, for having me!) and while there, we heard from Darren of WoW Headhunter, a brand new site that wants to get you or your guild hooked up with some new guildies. The site is pretty barebones: you can look through available guilds or enter your own. But they do add a little something new: whenever you enter a guild into the site, you can create application questions and even run through a survey that charts your guild along four lines: between Reckless and Deliberate, Social and Competitive, Fun and Serious, and Learner and Veteran. So you can choose between the Reckless Competitive Veterans and the Deliberate Social Learners.
Kind of a fun idea. Unfortunately, the site isn't too populated yet (I couldn't find recruiting guilds on either of the servers I frequent), but it did just go live today, so it may take some time for recruiting guilds to find their way over there. And unfortunately, while there is an option to put an Armory link in your profile, the site itself doesn't tie in to the Armory directly, so you still have to go searching for metrics when players apply (would be nice to see a list of what achievements have been done by the player, as well as some common stats to compare).
But it will be nice to have a list of guilds to browse, along with a little more info about them, all in one place. If you've been looking for a guild for a while with no luck, there's one more option.
Blizzard representatives are on the case, and while they haven't fixed the exact problem, they have found a workaround: This is only happening with the World of Warcraft specific login servers, and thus it's only happening to World of Warcraft specific logins. If you merge your World of Warcraft account into a Battle.net account, you will be able to log in.
It's no fix, but if you're desperate enough to play and haven't yet merged your account over, now is a pretty good time to do it. Personally, I'm not sure why you wouldn't do it anyway, but that's just my preference talking. If this login issue gets worse before it gets better, we'll be sure to let you know.
Update: This issue appears to be cleared up, but please let us (and Blizzard of course) know if that's not the case!
Reading further into his comments, however, it looks like the amount of changes happening to the talent trees may not be the reason for the free respecs, but rather the result of it. The free respec actually seems to be something that was necessary when implementing Dual Specs, and they went ahead and did some extra fixing and cleaning because of that.
That sort of makes sense, in the past it seems like they've mostly tried to target a few classes at a time rather than making heavy changes to all of them all at once. Patch 3.1 has hefty changes for every single class, and I don't remember very many content patches that had such widespread class changes. One way or another we would all need to respec after dual specs went in, so they saw an opportunity to make some additional changes and they took it. I'm okay with that.
Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.
Good afternoon all. I want to give a shout out to everyone in Fargo, North Dakota who is dealing with the flood that's going on, in particular everyone who is busy sandbagging. It's big, bad, and full of water. But on the plus side there are now ducks outside of my apartment, and I live two and a half miles from the Red River. But ducks are cool. It's made me want to go fire up Duck Hunt. I may be pawning off The Queue this week to Alex, depending on how bad things get in my area. He's anxious to talk about Mountain Dew I hear.
"Any idea on how the leader of a Battleground is determined?"
Who knows what's best for a guild, its leader or its members? It's an interesting question. The guild leader certainly has the best perspective on all guild issues (or she should, anyway). But it is her job to keep the members happy. So if the members are against something, should you allow them to overrule you? What if you as an officer think the members are wrong? This week's e-mail comes from a reader who did what his members wanted him to do, but thinks he might have made a mistake.
I'm the GM of a reasonably successful guild who have gotten to Sarth 2d and working on 3d in 25 man raids, so there's not a lot left to do.
Back in mid January we were successfully [running three Heroic raids] a week. However some classes were very tight and for the 25 man we had maybe 27 signups and not all of the 'right' class balance, but 'good enough' for Naxx etc. We had the opportunity to take in approximately 10 good raiders [. . .] with whom some of us (including myself) had played in the past and [whose] attitude matched very closely to our own. With those 10 raiders there were approximately 10 other people who did not want to raid with RL commitments but still enjoyed playing WoW etc. The Officers were largely in favor of taking them on, our class leaders had some concerns, but generally thought it was a good idea. So we took the idea to the guild as a whole who were largely against the merger.
Addon devs respond to Blizzard UI policy changes - Mon, 23 Mar 2009 13:00:00 EST Blizzard dropped a bombshell on the addon community last Friday with their new addon policies (among a few other clarifications, addon developers can no longer charge for their addons or even ask for donations in-game), and developers are reeling. Already, the creator of the popular QuestHelper has responded on his changelog, saying that the addon is "dead." He says that he has tried to get donations without having an ingame link, it doesn't work, and that without any money coming in, he doesn't see any reason to keep the addon in development. Likewise, the developer of Outfitter has pulled his addon from the usual outlets, saying that he "will no longer add value to the World of Warcraft" and that Blizzard is trying to "continue a system of treating addon developers as if their time and products are worthless."
Blizzard may not be too worried about Outfitter -- they're planning to add an official Equipment Manager into the game soon (and Tobold makes a point that Blizzard may want addons to be worthless). As far as we've heard, there's no word from the folks behind Carbonite yet -- there's lots of speculation on their forum, but we've contacted them to try and get an official statement. They are the addon that's believed to have kicked this all off -- they were actually charging (and holding up full time jobs) for their addon, and word is going around that Blizzard released these new policies to put the kibosh on them.
We'll have to wait and see on the long term policies of these changes -- a few developers have already called for a strike, though who knows how successful an idea like that would be. We'll definitely see a few devs hold back from working on their addons, but it's unlikely changes like these will shut down the community completely.
Some days, it's a little slow in the world of WoW machinima. Other days, I log in to my email and find out we're starting the week with a Baron Soosdon machinima. Which is, frankly, awesome. The good Baron got a tip about this song from his YouTube activity. He was drawn, motivated, and compelled to create a signature machinima for it. Thus was A.D.I.D.A.W. born. After hearing the music, how could you not empathize with the frenzied, holy compulsion to put gnome-to-screen for this song?
The song in A.D.I.D.A.W. is a take-off from Korn's A.D.I.D.A.S.. This musical re-creation is the brainchild of the band Electric Sex Pants. And, man, they really do hit the sweet spot for lyrics. All day I do, in fact, dream about WoW. I admit I've not been into scream metal for a while, but these guys just "did it" for me.
The video story itself is pretty awesome. I don't want to give it away, because the action is totally worth the watch. I'll summarize as best I can. Some horde are mistreating gnomes, in a wide variety of ways. But at the end, the song ends, and the abuse stops. Then, a little revenge comes their way. (No pun intended.) The graphics and animation are all clean and sharp. The action is easy to follow, and instilled with enough "whoah, cool" to make you want to reroll a Gnome.
As always, I'm thankful to the Baron for continuing the people's revolution, making gnomes cooler and cooler every day.
You can find multiple options for a video stream at the good Baron's blog.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch ..
WoW Insider Show Episode 82: Knock it off? Get it on! - Mon, 23 Mar 2009 11:00:00 EST Hoo boy, what a show at our podcast on Saturday. After one of the craziest starts our show has ever had (BRK's house decided to go a little nuts right before we started), we got as professional as we could and got down to business. After answering emails (including more on why you should listen to your mother), we talked about the addon changes and how they'll affect players and developers, Blizzard's plans for a mobile authenticator, and more of the latest news out of patch 3.1. We also brainstormed new flavors for Mountain Dew, and finally, we played what everyone was waiting to hear: Turpster's new WoW Insider song.
Yes, because our fans were kind enough to get 4,000 people to join in on our Facebook page, we recorded that abomination of hilarity. You can download it as an mp3 right here, for use in remixes or machinima or whatever you want to do with it, and I've posted the lyrics and liner notes after the break. Enjoy.
And don't forget we're currently in a campaign for OVER 9000 Twitter followers. Join up to Twitter and follow us, and please tell your guilds and friends to do the same -- if we can meet our goal there, we'll do a live video version of the podcast that you'll be able to see right here on the site. Enjoy the show as always, and we'll see you next week.
Get the podcast: [iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes. [RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator. [MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
One of the hardest achievements in the game is like a day at the beach to Felblood and <PhaseTwo> of Draenor-EU. Felblood took a moment to relax, kick off his shoes, and bask in the glory after his guild's first kill of 25-man Sartharion with all three drakes up. Too bad he decided to kick off his shoes in a lava pool. He's going to have to get some Antiseptic-Soaked Dressings on those feet.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word "Azeroth" in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, double-mounts, or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran.
Breakfast Topic: Hitting your stride - Mon, 23 Mar 2009 08:00:00 EST We finally did it. Heroic: The Twilight Zone. I thought we'd get it much sooner than yesterday -- and we had come close a couple of times -- but thanks to shoddy third world Internet, things often don't go the way we plan them. Several key raid members would get disconnected mid-battle, and we were never quite sure what caused it. We'd just blame it on a bad connection and hope for the best. So imagine the great luck we had when we finally got it all together.
That was an awesome night, and we headed to Naxxramas to clean up and ended up making quick werk of Patchwerk without even trying. I guess when you hit your stride, things just fall into place. Have you ever had a really good run where everything just worked out? A good day of playing where things just go your way? Gunning for Battlegrounds Achievements, I've had bad days but also excellent days where I felt like I just couldn't be beat.
What things have worked out for you? Selling stuff at the Auction House as soon as you put them out? Successful Heroic dungeon farming? Mike asked the other day if the RNG worked out really well for some of you, but what about stuff that isn't so random? When you're right on top of your game? I wish all my Arena sessions were like that, but well, nothing's perfect. How about you? Have you hit your WoW stride lately? Tell us how good things have been going in-game so far.
I should say at the outset of this article that I am a vegetarian, and I generally think of animals as cute and fuzzy friends of the human race. I have no moral objection against hunting animals and using their bodies for food or clothing, however. Logically, it makes sense that people have needed this to survive, but emotionally speaking, I find skinning and eating animals rather distasteful. Things would have been different for me if I had been raised on a farm or in a hunting community instead of a city thoroughly saturated with the culture of Disney movies about cute animals singing songs and having adventures, but... anyways, you are what you are. Hunting enthusiasts should feel free to write their own articles on the topic if they have different points of view.
So, anyway, as my vegetarian brain started churning around this idea of how skinning can be roleplayed in World of Warcraft, I couldn't help but admit to myself that I don't have so much real life experience of the topic. In fact, my first google search of "Skinning" turned up none other than WoWwiki's page on skinning in WoW, and I realized most people living in cities probably haven't got the first clue of what skinning animals is really like.
So I searched again for "skinning animals," and this time I found various articles about how to skin an animal for people who are interested in surviving in the wilderness, or just into hunting in general. One site even had simple hand-drawn animations of the proper way to kill and skin a rabbit, and I was struck by how very different this was from my experience of skinning in WoW. In the animation, we see the head and feet get cut off, a slice go down the middle of the animal's body, and the skin slowly peeling away to reveal all the flesh underneath... while in WoW we just right-click on a dead animal, loot its hide, and poof -- it disappears before our eyes.
Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week Matt offers some tips and insights for the Priest aiming to go after the Undying title!
I wanted to share some thoughts and tips this week on a successful Undying run I participated in with my guild. It continues to be one of the most challenging achievements in the game. To put it bluntly your entire raid group must navigate and clear out every encounter in Naxxramas without dying to any of the bosses. The amount of coordination, luck and skill needed is high. Remember that dying on trash is perfectly okay. It's the bosses where you can't afford to lose players on.
But I want to let you all in on a secret. There's a trick to earning the Undying.
What many players who don't like the sets seem to miss on is that this is something entirely new in the game. Blizzard has always done recolored versions of armor, but this is the first time by my reckoning that they have done evolutionary tier gear. [EDIT: This isn't entirely true. Reader Suzaku pointed out that the leather armor from Level 60 PvP sets evolved. My bad on missing out on that.] When I first encountered Blizzard's new multi-tiered PvP gear system, I was apprehensive about the next season's gear because I was afraid it would be difficult to match pieces visually. Arena gear had, prior to Season 5, been mere recolors of PvE raid sets, so there was no contuity from the one season to the next.
The problem with that was upgrading from one season's set to the other created visual clashes. As much as we like to min/max, PvPers like to look good, too. Enter Season 5 and the multi-tier gear system. There were three different sets of gear but all of them melded seamlessly into the other, with minor discrepancies in color. The introduction of an entirely new set of gear with completely different designs in Season 6 would have invalidated not just one but three sets of gear. However, the new design philosophy builds upon the older models, evolving -- as Alex put it -- like Azerothian Pokemon.
Players will whine about anything. No, really. A thread started by some Level 6 troll (actually, he's a Gnome) whines about how the non-tier pieces that drop in Ulduar are merely recolored versions of the tier models. The poster goes on to define Blizzard's goal of "class homogenization" as including appearance, as well. He points out that the non-tier items in Naxxramas were He also accuses Blizzard of blatant laziness and lack of effort.
It's a pretty tough argument, and players throughout the thread have weighed with their thoughts on the matter. This is an issue that has been apparent since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, where many armor pieces have largely shared the same models. Take, for example, the Spaulders of the Giant Lords, a plate shoulder piece purchased from the Sons of Hodir at Revered reputation. It shares the same model as 22 other rare plate items, from drops to crafted pieces. That's a lot of similar-looking gear. This design direction ensures that players will find an easier time finding non-set pieces that match instead of looking like a clown. This was one of the criticisms hurled at the leveling items in The Burning Crusade, and Blizzard seems to avoided it in Wrath.